- Published on Sunday, September 27 2009
- Written by Super User
Aaron Sorkin, the mastermind behind "West Wing" and "Sports Night" brought what was to be NBC's next great drama, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip to prime time, featuring Matthew Perry, Bradley Whitford, Amanda Peet, D.L. Hughley, Richard Schiff and Ed Asner.Unfortunately, the show will be no more.The show chronicles a fictional sketch-comedy series on the NBS broadcast network, not unlike NBC flagship show, Saturday Night Live. It was the most buzzed about new drama until the numbers came down. Nevertheless, NBC had picked up the show for the rest of the season. (Probably because they had invested so much in the show to not give it some growing time.)
The plot: when a thinly-disguised version of Lorne Michaels has an on-air meltdown during the live telecast of the thinly-disguised "SNL," the alter-egos of Aaron Sorkin and Tommy Schlamme are brought in to save the show by a new network president (Amanda Peet) looking to make her mark.Studio 60 marks Aaron Sorkin's return to weekly TV after his forced exit from The West Wing a few seasons ago. And his characteristic fast-paced dialogue and wit are ubiquitous, as is Schlammes incredibly long steadicam shots.Whitford is in peak form, and fans of The West Wing will enjoy his return. Perry is also good, and surprisingly more enjoyable in this character than his role on Friends. Amanda Peet is a wonderful mastermind to the two mavericks, a woman who always seems to elicit the fury of her own boss, played with devilish assholeness by Steven Weber.Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip is not without its problems, starting with the title. Not as catchy and easy to remember The West Wing, I think many people were confused as to what the show was about At that brings me to my second grievance. The show was" be too inside for most Americans. Imagine a much more sophisticated and nuanced version of Entourage. Only this is a TV show about a TV show, and thus is always in danger of becoming too meta as it progress through the season.The show had obvious production value, but did all the backstage occurrences provide enough material to keep us interested? I guess not." The West Wing had a much more open playbook for drama.At least Studio 60 was far superior to NBC's clone offering, 30 Rock. Even the names are bizarrely similar. Can two TV shows set backstage at a faltering live sketch comedy series co-exist on the same network? 30 Rock will undoubtedly fail, despite a strong performance by Alec Baldwin. NBC is being presumptuous when they believe that the public is this fascinated with the inner workings of the entertainment industry. We actually could care less, unless Sorkin or another genius is making those inner working interesting.